Monday, September 23, 2013

Legoland fairies and the seventh layer of hell

The Legoland Fairy. Not sure why she's got a ripped dress but et la!
We decided to descend on Legoland yesterday - forgetting lots of key things about the place like the fact that you really need to arrive within a smidge of it opening to avoid the traffic, the queues to get in, and the queues for the rides (basically if you ever want to go - and go on everything - don't go at weekends or at half term!).

The single most annoying moment of the day for us was queueing up for over an hour for a ride which subsequently broke down just as we were getting to the end of the queue.

The second single most annoying moment of the day was hearing a mother shouting at her son (something she was obviously well practiced in). Her exact words..

"Will you stop (bleeping) prancing around like a (bleeping) fairy!"

I have a couple of issues with this statement. One: the inference that little boys should not show any signs of glee or enjoyment (certainly not by prancing around and jumping up and down with excitement) and two: the use of the word "fairy" - in this instance used in a semi-homophobic way by a mum who probably has quite a few 'fruity' views on subjects you really wouldn't trust her views or judgement on.

It stuck with me for the rest of the day, distracting me from the fact that - as a very expensive leisure destination - Legoland is a bit poo really, and for the entry cost, the cost of some of the "extras" and if you're crazy enough to eat there (you really would have to be insane not to take your own lunch - and Legoland know this, which is why it's nigh on impossible to find anywhere to enjoy a picnic that isn't a gigantic sodding wasp magnet) you could probably buy some seriously expensive sets and sit at home having a fabulous day building them. It even distracted me from those people who barge to the front of the queue, offering up a weak "excuse me, can I squeeze past" without finishing the sentence with "I haven't got a Q-Bot pass or anything but at the end of the day, to be honest, I will punch you repeatedly until you lose consciousness if you try to stop me jumping the queue? D'ynarwhatimean? By the way I have an IQ that's less than your shoe size and I can't get it up any more so this is my compensatory default behaviour."

My wife has visited Legolands elsewhere and said how amazing they were, and how different. We get the scabby offspring here in the UK, quelle surprise - but for all its faults and for all the petty little annoyances yesterday, that one incident with the mother and her boy p*ssed me off more than anything else - even the queue-jumpers and wasps.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Introversion is not a crime...

Does the modern world care if you're introverted? 
Something a fellow blogger (the awesome Anne-Marie at Child Led Chaos) said struck a particularly poignant chord t'other day during an email exchange. Being introverted (which, I should add, isn't quite the same as being shy though the two are often seen as interchangeable and are often mistaken for each other) seems to be something that's unfairly stigmatised in schools. Why is that? Why is it that a talented and imaginative person isn't measured with a scale that doesn't 'mark down' the quiet ones who often have so much to say and so much to share, but can't always do so as easily as the extroverted  and 'show-offy'.

I worry that my own natural tendency to be a bit shy, and also quite introverted, rub off on Princess C. She's actually quite brilliant at getting on with other kids (in fact I think she's a bit too cuddly sometimes!) but if we're not there, she can be pretty shy and also quite happy to get on and do her own thing without the involvement of others.

When I was a kid, I was painfully shy and had zero self confidence. I'm still like that now, and get very nervous in social situations but like most things in life, I figure that you've got to give yourself a big kick up the arse from time to time and get out there and do things that petrify the living crap out of you.

So I try, and since Princess C's birth, I've done just about everything I can to make sure that she never suffers or misses out as a result of me being introverted or shy. But maaan, sometimes it's hard and still nagging away at the back of my mind is that little voice gently whispering "You really do make a complete arse of yourself, most of the time, did you know that?"